Can we talk about The Mandate for a little bit? I mean, the concept is one of the two games that I have been dreaming of since I was about eight, of an empire in turmoil and you as a captain given a mission to reunite it – which you can choose to do, or you can decide to become a pirate, or join the rebels, or align yourself with a reformist faction, or carve out your own empire, or anything else the devs think of.
Combat is both infantry boarding teams and space fleets of about one to five ships of various sizes, with the ability to actually have a boarding action happening at the same time as the fleet engagement, on one of the ships involved, and with the boarding team’s actions affecting the ship action!
And apart from the game itself, which looks shaping up to be wonderful, the devs have built a character modeling system that can handle nearly any body type, and have taken care to model women as respectfully as they have men. I mean, look at this article – they have no Creepy Marketing Guy! That’s amazing!
And in all of it, they’re putting women in all the roles men can have – from boarding team, to engineers keeping the ship running, to captains. The leader of the empire, Empress Anastasia Romanov, who ascended to the throne just in time for the Rebels to strike, is portrayed as a stronger ruler than her father and one who realises that there will be hard work ahead of them.
The everyday uniform your captain wears is a light hardsuit, capable of keeping you alive when the bridge is holed and the atmosphere vents, and look at it! It looks like actual functional (if stylised) armour – but the male version looks near-identical, and the stylisation is to make it look like an 1800s naval uniform, not for any ‘sex appeal’!
I mean, just read this quote from the earlier-linked article:
“Perhaps there are meticulously theorized marketing implications for gender representation in games, tacitly discussed by marketers with twirly moustaches at board meetings,” he says. “With 48 percent of all gamers being women according to ESA it seems a little misguided to actively aim to please only half of your potential customer base while alienating the other half. Besides some guys prefer to roll female characters… In any conceivable version of a space-faring future for humankind, there would need to be women…”
How awesome is that?
Just thought I’d share.